Friday, December 10, 2010

My SQL Azure book is published

My latest book, Microsoft SQL Azure Enterprise Application Development was published today.
Writing this book was a great learning experience both in terms of understanding the technology and trying to put it across for others with whom I would share this experience.
Many people made this happen. Packt publishing offered me this third chance and the folks at Packt were great. I could not have written without the help of my participation in the Windows Azure, SQL Azure and SQL Server forums. The MSDN and TechNet resources; the Microsoft and Neudesic boot camps; the evaluation software etc. a great deal of which I used provided the necessary momentum.
The third party Windows Azure vendors I have tried to introduce were most helpful in providing trial software. I might not have covered all of them but surely many more must be out there.
Now I anxiously wait to see how it is going to be received... Get a free copy entering a raffle , follow this link:

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

PaaS, IaaS, SaaS and now DaaS will be adding DaaS to the already overcrowded 4 letter acronyms for everything that is offered in the Cloud. With in place will be in direct competition with Microsoft, Amazon, Google and others. What is very interesting is the per transaction pricing. OK, it is not relational DB (Sorry, my mistake, it is indeed relational ) but can it compete with relational data? Interesting questions,
How these vendors are going to divide up the market?
How Microsoft,Amazon and others are going to respond?
Need to consider though that has been in this business for a while.
Price war may be in the offing.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Lync lassos a lot of Microsoft stuff

Microsoft most recently released Lync (17 Nov, 2010). Download a free version here ( It's a communication software consisting of Servers and Clients that helps users to connect and stay connected in new ways wherever they are with a single client interface. It is managed quite simply integrated with Active Directory.

Some major features from Microsoft documentation reproduced here:

Secure IM Messaging:
(MSN,Yahoo,WindowsLive,AOL). Presence Status such  as available/busy supported.

IM Conferencing: Audio and Web Conferencing; Application Sharing; Impromptu as well as scheduling. Dial-in is also OK through PSTN. Automatic scaling (from few users to thousands) very much like a cloud service.

VOIP also known as Enterprise Voice:
IM, Collaboration etc. Full service including call answer, hold, forward, transfer etc

Remote users support:
Remote users outside company firewalls supported with Edge Servers. This also helps federation with partners and vendors

Integration with other Microsoft products such as Outlook 2010,Exchange, Office and SharePoint 2010. Outlook will have a hear audio message button.

Easy deployment: 
Wizard driven Planning tool(Prelease version) and Topology builder

Simply Managed:
Active Directory Managed;
Control Panel Management GUI;
Command line support leveraging Windows Powershell

Servers and Clients alike need recommneded 64-Bit CPU

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Denali gets installed on Windows 7 but...

I have VS 2008 SP3 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express on my machines as well as a number of SQL Servers including 2008, 2008 R2, and Express.

After installing Denali the integration services does not work. There are three types of templates for using SSIS with Visual Studio 2008 and none of them work. Looks like when you install Denali on a machine with SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2, the integration services package cannot be created as the program becomes inoperative as the earlier version is not supported anymore. The option therefore is to place the program on a virtual machine.

Review the error messages for the three templates for creating a package or use SSIS import template:

With Integration Services Package :

With SSIS Project Wizard: Whatever it means?

With Integration Services Import Project wizard:

Strange things with Microsoft LightSwitch

This is the second time this happened. I try to create a Microsoft LightSwitch project and this warning pops-up.

However I know that Microsoft Silverlight 4.0 tools for Visual Studio is already installed. I do not know why this pops-up again.
 To get along with what I am doing I download and install again (this takes more than 30 to 40 minutes). The LightSwitch starts working again. This is queer.

After downloading and installing the downloaded file I tried to create a project with the same name I had used earlier. The program says it already has a program by that name. I think the first warning is not very well placed in the Beta program. You may discard it without any penalty.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Denali installs easily on Windows 7 Ultimate

Denali is the code name for the next version of SQL Server -SQL Server 2011 which is in CTP 1. I added a post about it a  few days ago in this blog.

You can download it from here:

You run the setup.exe in the folder where you unpack the contents of the download.

I have Windows 7 Ultimate on an Aspire 4810TZ-4011 notebook which also has a number of SQL Servers both Enterprise evaluation as well as SQL Server Express.

This time I installed a named instance Hodentek3\Alaska and after starting the install I went to bed and in the morning I saw success staring out of my notebook. No problem at all.

Here are some screen shots,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Houston based SQL Azure DB Manager on Windows Azure

In my previous post on Houston I had mentioned how easily Houston manages SQL Azure with its coool looking web interface providing capabilities not present in SSMS. Microsoft has taken Houston to integrate SQL Azure Services with the Windows Azure with a brand new interface. The SQL Server instance management got so much easier with this nice addition.

The new Silverlight based, Wizard driven portal integrates all of Windows Azure giving you a new database manager (cloud hoisted 'Houston'). This should be available soon.

For details listen to the Tech Ed Europe 2010 video by David Robinson here.
COS222 - What’s New in Microsoft SQL Azure

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Microsoft Trading Platform M4 Silverlight Edition is ready to download

It's not evaluation software but real stuff requiring real cash like ~$7000.00

Find details at Modulus here.

It's a platform agnostic  browser app with the look and feel of a desktop app.

This info from Modulus noted here:

"M4 SL is affordably priced at $6,799 for use on one domain. This price includes C# source code, a license for StockChartX WPF and StockChartX SL, free setup via Remote Desktop, 6 months of email technical support and one year of source code updates (renewable on an annual basis)."

Test drive Denali (SQL Server 2011) with pervasive insight

This version 11.0.1103.9 of SQL Server 2011 CTP1 was published recently 11/8/2010

Get this CTP1 version of SQL Server 2011 code named 'DENALI' from here.

File name for x86 is SQLFULL_x86ENU.exe (1296.9 MB)

An ISO and an exe file for x64 are also available from the same link.

As advertised highlights:

Enhanced mission-critical platform
Developer and IT Productivity
Pervasive insight

Supported Operating Systems are:
Windows 7;Windows Server 2008 R2;Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2;Windows Vista Service Pack 2

Hardware for x32:

Intel or compatible 1.0 GHZ processor, ~1GB RAM and ~2.2GB Hard disk OK

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Microsoft Trading Platform on your desktop

Microsoft is partnering with Saxo Bank of Denmark to offer a trading platform according to Financial Times (FT) launching tomorrow. I hope this investment bank known for its success in internet brokerage (according to WikipediA) provides the proverbial Midas Touch to Microsoft's various products and thereby its share holders (disclaimer: I don't own MSFT stocks).


Trade over 11000 stocks On 23 world exchanges
Fundamental Analysis
Powerful stock screener
Diversify  risk Management etc.

Perhaps early next year a trading platform on the cloud!!!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Office 365 coming to a cloud near you

Microsoft's star product Microsoft Office gets launched to the cloud soon as Office 365.

Summary of what is offered:

Microsoft's star product Microsoft Office gets launched to the cloud offering the following services:
  • Office Professional Plus
 Accessible from all hardware platforms-PC, Phone and Browser
  • Exchange Online
 All your emails, calendar and contacts with anti-virus and anti-spam features
  • Sharepoint Online
 All sharing between colleagues, partners and customers
  • Lync Online
 Instant messaging, video conferencing, online meeting etc.

Key benefits of Office 365 (according to MSFT):

  • 24/7 IT-Level Phone support
  • Get up and run faster with migration tools
  • Server patching, updating all gone
  • Variable pricing to fit your pocket

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Now you have SQL Azure Reporting Services in the Cloud

At the PDC on October 28th Microsoft announced two new features for SQL Azure Reporting CTP and SQL Azure Data Sync CTP2.
You can embed cloud based reports using SQL Azure Data. You use the familiar SSRS to author reports and use it on-site or, up on the cloud (you can have your cake and eat it too!).
SQL Azure Sync CTP2 enables synchronization between on-premises SQL Server and SQL Azure. Now you have it both ways.
If you are new to SSRS I strongly recommend my book,
If you are new to SQL Azure you can order my book from here,
Do you want to have your own free copy? Follow this link here:

Friday, October 29, 2010

New things in the works for SQL Azure

 This is what I am hearing....and cannot wait.

Not only Windows Azure platform will be getting new stuff in the coming months, SQL Azure will also be enhanced by the end of the year. You will have SQL Azure Reporting as well as SQL Azure Analytics. Perhaps a CTP will appear first.

The SQL Azure Reporting will support embedded WORD, EXCEL and PDF to Windows Azure applications.

SQL Azure Data Sync-  Geo location to SQL Azure data for both cloud and mobile applications will be in place by the end of 2010.

A web based Database Manager for SQL Azure will be available by the year end, perhaps an improved version of the gorgeous looking 'Houston Project'.

Annoying features of IE 9.0 Beta

These are not really features but annoyances alright. I am using this version perhaps there is a later one available (I am not sure).

This one is really very annoying. You bring up a page in IE 9.0 such as the one shown in the first figure. You see islands on the page where display is empty. Some times scrolling up and down will display correctly and sometimes does not. Now you sweep your mouse over the are and it becomes visible. This has happened any number of times.

The other annoying feature is that some of the content editors do not work correctly. For example, I try to format my blog and many of the editing tools does not work. I save the work (which appears to be not a problem) and open up Mozilla to finish.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will Intel's Cloud Builders program lift it out of its lows?

Watching Intel stocks for the past 10 years I have seen it mostly going down although it seems to be coming back. But as a believer in Cloud Technology, I imagine that the Cloud Builders program will make the Cloud 2105 (Simplified, Secure and interoperable, mother of all clouds) vision a resounding success. However the task appears formidable given the number of players in the business and their idiosyncrasies.

Copied from Yahoo Finance on 10/28/2010

The idea of this vision is to optimize resources across the cloud providers, a growing list that includes some 20 stakeholders,
Eucalyptus Systems

With all these folks committing resources, ideas, and practical guidance this vision may come true. Will this improve the bottom line?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Developer Launch in New York

Attended the launch event at New York Marriot Marquis yesterday (Oct 19,2010) and got a lot of info on this make or break business item for Microsoft. The crowd was less than I expected but filled the hall. I think it will be great if all those developers who attended turn in a couple of apps each. Why, I may even buy some MSFT stock.
The technical team (Danillo Diaz and David Isbitski) did a nice job of presenting the details. There were six sessions:
Session 1: Get Started! The Basics of Building Apps on the Windows Phone 7 Platform
Session 2: From Idea to Interactivity: Design Guidelines for Windows Phone 7
Session 3: Supercharge Your Windows Phone 7 Apps with Microsoft Silverlight
Session 4: Step Up Your Game with Windows Phone 7 and XNA
Session 5: Monetizing Your Apps with Marketplace
Session 6: The Power of the Cloud: Exploring Windows Phone 7 Services
As I have been up in the clouds recently I have not had time to look at Windows Phone since the CTP. Of course I could follow the sessions without any problem and David's talk really inspired me to look at developing games.
Hey give it a try and make some money!
Moola! Moola!
I did a few related articles check them out:
Also Windows Phone CTP on my other blog:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hurry up and check out Silverlight 4

Do you need an extra motivation to start with Silverlight 4?

Here is long list of what SL4 is about from the Microsoft's very own Channel 9 (Content developers John Papa and Adam Kinney). It appears to me (some comments are my own and not in the original) very compelling indeed. Check them out here:

Supports printing of SL apps
Localization with bi-direcitonal(bi-di) and script-based text and R-L support
Extended Language Support
 New Langauges and my own Indic group (including Indo-Dravidian)
New Rich TextBox Control with Bi-Di
Enhanced IME, specially for East Asian Languages
View Box to position your image to bring it to focus
Auto-sizing columns and copy from DataGrid
Navigation page extensibility
Command property on ButtonBase and Hyperlink
SelectedValue and SelectedValue Path on Selector
Support for referer header
UDP Mulitcast client support
Networking enhancements
WCF TCP-binding (sans securite')
WCF PollingDuplex improvements
Authentication support with ClientHTTPWebRequest
IDATAErrorInfo (unmasking validation errors)
INotifyDataErrorInfo (make use of HasError property)
Grouping on CollectionViewSource
Editable CollectionView IEditableCollecitonView
Binding to String Indexers (Good for text mining?!!)
TargetNullValue (Null is no sweat)
StringFormat (cool feature)
FallBackValue (Is it the same as default?)
Databinding support for Dependency Objects
XPath support for XML
ObservableCollection<T> constructor accepts IList and IENumerable
Isolated Storage Enhancements
Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)[hot fix running apps!!]
SDK enhancements

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Are you ready for SQL Server 2008 SP2?

The Service Pack 2 is ready for downloading from this site here:
To download the SQL Server 2008 SP2 release please select from the links below:
 •SQL Server 2008 SP2:
 •SQL Server 2008 SP2 Express:
 •SQL Server 2008 SP2 Feature Packs:

 This is a service pack for the 2008 server and not the 2008 R2.

I have only Express editions and this executable (SQLServer2008SP2-KB2285068-x86-ENU.exe, 284MB ) from the above link applied the service pack to the two SQL Express servers on my notebook computer (Aspire 4810TZ-4011) with Windows 7 Ultimate.

I ran Select @@version on each of them and got these responses:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (SP2) - 10.0.4000.0 (Intel X86)   Sep 16 2010 20:09:22   Copyright (c) 1988-2008 Microsoft Corporation  Express Edition with Advanced Services on Windows NT 6.1 <X86> (Build 7600: )
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (SP2) - 10.0.4000.0 (Intel X86)   Sep 16 2010 20:09:22   Copyright (c) 1988-2008 Microsoft Corporation  Express Edition on Windows NT 6.1 <X86> (Build 7600: )[I call this the Vanilla]
The first of these has Reporting Services server.

So what does this service pack accomplish?
* Reporting Services in Sharepoint Integrated Mode. It also helped SQL Server 2008 R2 to integrate with Sharepoint 2007 Products.
* SQL Server 2008 R2 Application and Multiserver Management Compatibility with SQL Server 2008
    *SQL Server 2008 Instance Management. You can enroll SQL Server 2008 with SQL Server 2008 R2 Utility Control Point as a managed instance.
    *Data-Tier Application(DAC) support. With the SP2 applied I can do all the DAC Operations just like in SQL Server 2008 R2. However I am using the      SSMS tool that was installed with SQL Server 2008 R2.
     Here is an example of the DACs that you can do with SQLExpress (vanilla).

You want to jump start on DAC, the coolest feature of SQL Server, then make sure you read these articles:

Have some fun!

Friday, September 17, 2010

SVG gets rendered on IE 9.0

Looks like Microsoft has decided to support SVG in IE. This is a thing I always wanted to happen.

I ran the butterfly.svg file found here ( in IE 9.0 Beta and it rendered as expected (shown). The Mozilla also rendered it the same way.

I also tested (with a little change) one of the svg graphics demonstrating svg as inline html from Jennifer Yu's

blog at

Surprise, IE 9.0 rendered the HTML file but Mozilla 3.6.10 could not as shown.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

IE 9.0: Love at first sight

It's cool and it's fast and it is called IE9.0
Little more than IE9.0, it's Beta 1.
You can download it from here:
Versions Vista (Windows 7),  32-bit or 64-Bit
IE9-Windows7-x86-enu.exe  19.0MB file
Installs fast and it's really nice. If you can do without Norton Toolbar you can take off a full 1 second from waiting time.
Here are some screen shots. Go get yourself IE 9.0 and experience yourself.
Some problem getting it, review some screen shots here.
I Got rid of Norton Toolbar

Navigational icons at the bottom
Home. Tools etc are unobtrusive

Here are the highlights:
Seamless with Windows 7 (how about Vista? some seams perhaps!)
HTML 5 Support
Focused, UI-Centric Page
 Faster Web. Yes, it looks like it is for now.
Jump lists
 HTML 5 supercharged web sites!!. Cool tool to design
Flower-o-scope tool is great

 I discovered my musical talents here. Go there and find out how?  

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Who said you cannot have design view of an SQL Azure table?

It is true that if you are connecting to SQL Azure from SSMS you only have recourse to T-SQL for the most part (with the Delete however you do get a user interface). Well, this has been one of the sour points as some believe that GUI is more productive than using T-SQL. T-SQL and SSMS are really the two sides of a doppelgänger and, you know who the evil one is.

But the Project 'Houston' has changed it for good. It has a lovely (if I may so call it) user interface blessed with Silverlight. You even have animation effects. It is the web based database management tool that is a nice offspring of Windows Cloud platform. Although new for Microsoft web based database management tools are in vogue quite for some time.

Houston is presently hosted on the SQL Azure developer portal.

Why wait, sign-up for Windows Live follow it up owning a Windows Azure account. You are all set and ready to roll. Roll baby roll!

Here is a screen shot of something you always wanted to do with SQL Azure. See all the (gory) details of your table in design view and make changes to it and save.

I am sure if Microsoft adds a dash of CSS and shine a bit more of Silverlight you could have syntax highlighting and intellisense in no time at all. Right now the syntax is all monochrome.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting SQL Azure data on LightSwitch is easy

Jump start on Microsoft's latest RAD developmental tool - the Microsoft LightSwitch.It is still in Beta but looks very cool. You have data sources and screens. Hook them up and you are done. It has screens that are representative of most of the likely usage scenarios such as searching, point to parent and all the children show up, edit data, etc. You hardly need to write code for most of the common business use. In case you want to write code, you could. There are lot of events to which you can hook up code. I used VS 2010 Express and some coding is limited but I understand with a better VS versio you can do a lot more.

Before you do the big things get a head start knowing about this interface. Read this article and jump start on LightSwitch.

Start here and if you have a problem send me an email

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Here comes update SU4 to SQL Azure right on time

The 4th update to SQL Azure has arrived. The new items added to SQL Azure are the following:
  • Now supports database copy, allowing you to make a real-time complete snapshot of your SQL Azure database into a different server in the data center. Details of this are here:
Basically two types of copying are supported:
1. You can create a copy of a database on the same server
2. You can create a copy of the database on a diferent sever in the same sub-region

The following T-SQL statement is used for copying:

CREATE DATABASE destination_database_name
    AS COPY OF [source_server_name.]source_database_name

If source_Server_name is not provided the source database must be located on the same SQL Azure that the login to the database is connected. For example, say I have a database BlueskyBengaluru and I want to keep a copy of it on the same server, all I need to do is execute this statement:

Create database BlueskyMumbai as copy of BlueskyBengaluru

Presto, you have a copy of database created.

The databases before copying the database

After the Create database BlueskyMumbai as copy of BlueskyBengaluru

  • The updated How-To documentation with several how-to examples. I do not see anything new here, but perhaps the changes are in the details.
  •  Update to the light-weight, Silverlight based web access HOUSTON to SQL Azure Databases
It is now available on multiple datacenters. It has moved from incubation to a more realistic scenario with reduced latency. I am yet to find out how I access Houston from my data center.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Are you ready to see light with LightSwitch?

At first blush it looks more Silverlight than LightSwitch.

The LightSwitch beta is now available at this site here, the file name is vs_vslsweb.exe:     

I downloaded and ran the executable. It started right away as shown.

I left my seat and went away and when I came back it had finished. But I did not see anything installed and no messages. I ran again and I saw the message that it could not install Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2. I thought I had it and, sure enough it was registered in the Add/Remove programs. Of course I also had the SP1 variety. I tried to reinstall LightSwitch and again I failed. Finally I removed all compact SP1 and SP2 files one by one from Add/Remove programs(there were 4 separate programs from Query Analyzer to tools and documentation).

I installed Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 (SSCERuntime-ENU.exe) again and then tried again to repair. It started downloading and installing LightSwitch.

And finally it was installed. It took quite a bit of time.

I opened up the UI to see the contents. Aha, it is more Silverlight than LightSwitch. There are only two LightSwitch templates, one for VB and one for C#.

Probably Microsoft will come up with more and varied LightSwitch programs in the release version.
Well, looks like it will be 250+ days before we see another update.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

LightSwitch - A developer tool for dummies

Beta will be available on Aug 23, 2010 for the General Public. The MSDN subscribers have started using it and there were 70 postings on its forum the last time I visited and asked a question.

This is a product for real dummies and for those who are averse to writing code. Being template based it must be all Microsoft Wizardry, a RAD tool at its best (I hope). Small business owners take heart. You don't need to hire arrogant developers you can develop apps your self.

I read somewhere that while WebMatrix is for those who love HTML, LightSwitch is for those who like Silverlight.

It can be integrated with SharePoint, Silverlight, Microsoft Office, Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Windows and perhaps others in the future. Both VB and C# are OK.

I hope this will turn Microsoft into a Growth Stock.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Microsoft's WWT is very cooool and reaches far out

World wide telescope built with Silverlight is cool. Nice showcase of Silverlight and Microsoft's support for science.

Last year I blogged about it:

Go here and use the web client to watch the sky.

or start from home at:

Here is a screen shot of one of our members.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

By far this is the best tool to learn WCF

Go no further, this is the best tool.

WCF short for Windows Communication Foundation, the latest Microsoft programming architecture has superseded earlier technologies like COM, DCOM, etc. WCF is the Microsoft programming model for building distributed applications for .NET. Visual Studio suite of products provides an easy to use interface for developing WCF applications. Using these IDEs a number of different types of WCF applications can be built.

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 makes it very easy to create WCF projects. The Visual Studio 2010 Express which is a free program can also be used similar to the way described in this article for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 .

This article describes the default template available in VS 2008 (also works the same in VS2010 Express) to create a WCF application and to understand the out of the box WCF development tools; namely the WCF Service Host and the WCF Test Client.

Along with modifying the service and service contract, publishing the service to the Internet Information Services is also described where in the local host is an IIS7 web server.

Get the best WCF experience out of VS2010 express and VS 2008 with this article

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Turn on the LightSwitch - Easy access to Microsoft Data

This tool makes it very easy to access Microsoft SQL Server Data be it on ground or floating in the clouds. It is officially called Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch. It is a product purported to make your life easy to develop line-of-business apps.

Why are you waiting then?

Well You need to wait anyway, it will be available on Aug 13, 2010

In the mean time watch this video here:

A microsecond look at the video gave me an impression that it is MS Access front end look alike for SQL Server and SQL Azure data. I bet the plumbing is more intricate.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

IPad contender for $35, no kidding

When I heard about it on Farid's GPS on Sunday I thought he was kidding. It was developed with the help of none other than my Alma Mater, the Indian Institute of Science. This is more like a tablet PC for mass distribution targeted to students. This definitely makes the American slogan of 'Every child a computer' possible for Indian children now.

I went surfing on the internet. This is what I found.
It runs on Solar Power gets a A++
Internet Browser
Linux OS with Linux based touch screen
Video Conferencing  OK
screen size 7" and 9"
Media Player OK
PDF reader OK
No hard disk but a SDisk (not sure)

It costs $35 but the Indian Government will subsidize half.

Indian Government says it can make it for $10
I am sure China will be shipping soon at $1.

Check out these on the internet

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Make no mistake, this is no easy stuff

Ten years into making speaks volumes. This is a toy, yes. This is a serious business, yes, yes and yes. What I am talking about is LEGO Universe.

This does not use the bright colored plastic pieces that you used to put together a house, a plane, a train etc. The LEGO blocks are made of PIXELS. LEGO Universe, the online game debuts in October 2010 and supports massive multiplayer gaming. Now you can think of building massive projects with this online game. Also it will be a welcome departure from blood and gore, staples of most games. This one is for kids who want to be inventive kids not the ones roaming in virtual space smelling blood at every corner. Hey I am not satisfied with tweeting or, making faces but I want a healthy alternative to other forms of social networking.

To learn more about this don't miss the article on IEEE Spectrum

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SQL Server Compact 3.5 with SQL Server Management Studio

Microsoft SQL Server Compact is an embedded(able) database ideal for desktop, (hand-held) mobile devices and web clients. It is free to download (also free to deploy and redistribute) and comes in the form of just one code-free file. Its small foot print makes it easy to deploy it to a variety of device sizes and requires no administration. It also supports a subset of T-SQL and a rich set of data types. It can be used in creating desktop/web applications using Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010. It also comes with a sample Northwind database. It is ideally suited to offline and occasionally connected clients.

 For using SQL Server Compact with Visual Studio please follow this link.

In this article "SQL Server Compact 3.5 with SQL Server Management Studio"  managing SQL Server Compact 3.5 from the SQL Server Management Studio which is installed with SQL Server 2008 R2 Nov-CTP (or R2 RTM) will be described. Alternately one could also use SSMS bundled with SQL Server Express 2008. Creating databases, tables, indexes and nested queries are also described.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Connecting to SQL Server CE from Visual Studio

Connection string is the entry point to develop any data-centric application that includes handheld or mobile platform. It really is the first step. If you are accessing SQL Server Compact then this article tells you all that you need to know about connecting to SQL Server Compact from Visual Studio, be it the latest VS2010 or an older data tecnnology.

Check out this article and let me know if you liked it.

After connecting you can develop a Pocket PC forms application as shown in this article on the same site:

Here is an abstract of the above article:

This article by Dr. Jayaram Krishnaswamy teaches how you may create a .NET Compact Framework (CF) 2.0 forms application. This can be used with Pocket PC 2003, or later devices. In the absence of a device being available for testing, the emulator is the next best thing. The application will be tested on one of the many emulators available in Visual Studio 2005. You may try other devices as well just by choosing the item in the Device Emulation Manager described in the article.

Two must have programs if you are using Visual Studio

CodePlex site now has a one stop resource where you can find all the samples for applications that can be created using Visual Studio suite of products(2008 and 2010). Specifically it has provided the All-In-One Code Framework "Sample Browser". All you need to install is the package from this site, The "Sample Browser" is in the root folder of your All-In-One Framework package. It is an ongoing feature and more things will be added in the future.

Here is a screen shot of all Silverlight code samples you can find with ample documentation.

Here is an example of documentation you will find for a ADO.NET Data Service sample.

This is indeed a very valuable resource you must be aware of if you are using Visual Studio.

Friday, July 09, 2010

(Web)Matrix Reloaded

Microsoft has resurrected WebMatrix the free tool for developing web pages. The latest WebMatrix includes ASP.NET Extensions and IIS Express - a free developer tool. The new tool also supports creating ASP.NET MVC and or ASP.NET Web Pages. This is how this new feature 'Razor' is explained by Scot Guthrie in his blog [].
The design goals for this upgraded WebMatrix are,

Compact, Expressive, and Fluid (looks like this has been achieved)
Easy to Learn
Is not a new language (corollary to the above)
works with any Text Editor
Has great intellisense
Unit Testable

Appears to be an all round improvement. The replacement for 'cassini' may be a more robust web server in the form of IIS Express.

Here is the trick to using Razor

<%=name%/> is replaced by @name
<%=productID%/> is replaced by $productID

You get the picture. Six characters replaced by a single character. Quite a saving if you had had a great big page and you don't need to handle those awkward angles (sigh! I have so gotten used to them).

There are more examples in Scott's blog, make sure you look it up.

I went back to take a look at an article I created in 2006 on the previous version. Even back then it was quite interesting.

When it comes to diagnostic help Mozilla outshines IE

I was recently trying to troubleshoot an application on the Windows Azure Cloud and I was struck by the browser differences when it came to debugging the application.

Here is the browser display for a page which had errors in Mozilla (version 3.6.6)

Here is the same page as rendered on IE 8.0.7600.16385

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Do you want to test drive Microsoft Office Web Apps?

Go to this page:

Convenience is the key word here. You can be anywhere and you are not too far from your Office Applications any time. If you want to know more, watch this video .

You access the app on SkyDrive for personal use and deploy it for your organization.

But you need to sign up with windows Live. When you login after installing you will see this in your Live IN window.

You have all the pieces (the four programs) now.

Click on any you want to use and your previous experience will come in handy. You get the same experience as the one you get from this program on your desk top.

Here are some screens using the Web word as I would like to call it.

I click Word in the above screen to create a new word document which will be present in my SkyDrive.

Then I save it by clicking Save. This opens up the editor on my SkyDrive (see web URL at the top of the page).

I type in a few words. The ‘ribbon’ is somewhat empty but then who is complaining. It’s free stuff. But this is good enough if you are fishing in deep arctic or having a drink with your girlfriend by the pool (watch the video, my friend).

I suggest you better install the Sign-in Assistant so that you do not need to remember authentication etc. This will bring in more programs to your computer, go thru’ this just one time. It makes it easier.

Do you see the Word icon on the ribbon?
Click this if you want to save this document.  But then you have to agree for more terms such as this one.
 Well if you allow this, then you will see this. Protection Status